Cape Verdean Portuguese is the dialect of European Portuguese used in the island nation of Cape Verde. While the language is not commonly used in informal conversations.
Cape Verde Portuguese is used in all government communication, as well as in the drafting of all official documents including legislation and laws. Despite being the official language, Cape Verdean Portuguese is not spoken unvaryingly across the country, as there is no official regulatory body mandated to regulate the use of the language. Cape Verdean Portuguese originated from European Portuguese, as the first inhabitants of the islands were from Portugal. The two languages also share numerous linguistic characteristics as a testament to their intertwined identities, For instance, in European Portuguese, there are several ways to address an individual in the second-person, while Cape Verdean Portuguese has only two ways to address a person in the second-person. Cape Verde officially became a Portuguese colony in 1462, and soon afterward the colonial government established Portuguese as the country’s official language. The Cape Verdean Portuguese standardization instruments, such as dictionaries and school manuals, are based on European Portuguese standards.
Major Language of Cabo Verde
Cape Verdean Creole is the dominant language in Cape Verde, with almost all Cape Verde residents having knowledge of the language. The majority of Cape Verde diaspora citizens also use the language as their second language. Cape Verdean Creole is one of many Portuguese-based creoles in the world, and is the creole language with the highest number of native speakers in the world. Cape Verdean Creole is also the oldest existing creole in the world, with the language being estimated to have over 1.2 million native speakers in the island nation. The language does not have an official designation, but is locally referred to as “creole” in the country. The exact origin of Cape Verdean Creole is not entirely known, but linguists believe the language originated from African slaves residing in the islands, who took the European Portuguese language and incorporated the grammar of their native West African languages.
Each of the Cape Verde islands has a distinct variant of the language, but linguists categorize them into two geographically-defined branches, which are the Barlavento Creoles and Sotavento Creoles.